Saturday 23 September 2017

FG's Doherty to make statement to gardaí after getting death threat

Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty. Photo: Tom Burke
Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty. Photo: Tom Burke
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

A prominent Fine Gael backbencher is to make a statement to gardaí after being warned her throat would be "slit".

The chilling threat was issued to Meath East deputy Regina Doherty just hours after she took part in a heated radio debate with Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.

The threat, which was communicated to Ms Doherty through a private Facebook message, was part of a barrage of abuse she received following the debate on LMFM.

Sinn Féin last night condemned the threat, which is understood to have been issued by an anonymous individual.

"Sinn Féin condemns all threats to politicians. There can never be any justification for this type of behaviour," a spokesman told the Irish Independent.

Ms Doherty yesterday spoke to her local superintendent about the issue and is due to give a statement after polling day.

It's understood she has been told to take precautions in relation to her personal safety.

Fine Gael headquarters has also been in touch with Ms Doherty over her personal welfare.

During the debate, Ms Doherty and Mr Adams engaged in bitter exchanges over Sinn Féin's past.

Mr Adams said two members of his family were killed.

He also told presenter Michael Reade that he has been shot and his family home and office have been bombed.

"All brought on by your own actions," Ms Doherty replied.

Mr Adams responded: "'All by your own actions'. Isn't that an awful thing to say, Regina?".

During heated exchanges that followed, Ms Doherty attacked Mr Adams over his handling of the Brian Stack case.

Mr Stack, a prison officer, was murdered by the IRA in 1983 and his family say Sinn Féin knows the identities of those involved.

"It's funny now he is not in a position to help Austin Stack with the request that he gave yesterday. But he didn't have a problem putting Austin Stack and his brother in a blacked-out van, Hiace van, and taking him to an unknown, remote destination a number of years ago so he could then give him information with regard to his father's murder and killing," Ms Doherty said. "The difficulty is people don't find you sincere," she added.

Renua leader Lucinda Creighton yesterday suggested that the threat was issued against Ms Doherty as a result of her criticism of Mr Adams during the debate.

She also said Mr Adams should "lead from the front" in condemnation.

"There is a growing tendency amongst the media, and even in the larger political parties to shy away from reminding people of Sinn Féin's past, instead focussing solely on their tax or economic policies," Ms Creighton said.

"The reality is that there is no other attack against a political party leader except Sinn Féin which could result in death threats being made against that person, and that's why it is so important that Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin lead from the front in condemning this threat," she added.

Irish Independent

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